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Bari Weiss’s piece in NYT saying anti-Zionism is a ‘dragon’ of anti-Semitism allows no comments

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Bari Weiss has published another opinion piece in the New York Times about frightful anti-Semitism: “Europe’s Jew Hatred, and Ours.” There is no comment section. What a shock. She gets to trash the pro-Palestinian movement as vicious anti-Semites and we don’t get to call her out for her contempt for Palestinian rights.

Weiss asserts that the three heads of the “dragon” of anti-Semitism are white nationalists, Islamists and leftwing anti-Semites who masquerade as anti-Zionists. As if leftwingers who support Palestinian human rights are just as dangerous as neo-Nazis who kill Jews.

Here are her many jabs at those who defend Palestinian rights, as heirs to Nazis:

Just 54 percent [of Europeans in a CNN poll] say Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state.

It’s no wonder that to be a Jew in Europe today is to live your life in the closet…

Now add a third ingredient to this toxic brew: the fashionable anti-Semitism of the far left that masquerades as anti-Zionism and anti-racism.

No political leader in Europe embodies that sentiment more than Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn….

[F]or Mr. Corbyn and his ilk on the left, Israel, the Jew among the nations, is the last bastion of white, racist colonialism…

Finally there is the hatred from the left, which comes cloaked in the language of progressive values…

[W]e are often dismissed as sensitive or hysterical, or as mistaking legitimate criticism of Israel for something darker.

This is nonsense. The same was said of the Jews in Europe when they sounded the alarm bells. Look where they are now.

So once again Weiss equates Jewishness and Zionism. To be Jewish means to support Israel, “the Jew among nations.” As Weiss told a NY temple audience in the wake of Pittsburgh massacre, at the temple where she was bat mitzvah’d, the Jews of Israel and the U.S. are one:

“Our [Jewish] values are also the fact that we are alive for the Jewish return to political sovereignty [in Israel]– the idea that we would celebrate that! … we are all one, Am Yisrael [the people of Israel].”

No doubt Corbyn has stumbled into associating with some jerks–you can’t avoid it if you discuss the Palestinian issue. But Bari Weiss’s side is full of intolerant jerks, including four New York Times column writers who have justified the massacre of unarmed Palestinian protesters at the Gaza fence:

Tom Friedman blamed Hamas for “the tragic and wasted deaths of roughly 60 Gazans by encouraging their march.”

Bret Stephens said Gaza was a “military quagmire,” as if Palestinians are armed, and responsible for the violence. “No decent Palestinian society can emerge from the culture of victimhood, violence and fatalism symbolized by these protests.”

Shmuel Rosner was unapologetic, Israel had to be cruel to be kind: “Sometimes there is no better choice than being clear, than being firm, than drawing a line that cannot be crossed by those wanting to harm you.”

Matti Friedman doesn’t quite defend the shootings, but in essence he does. Israel had no good choices, they had to shoot or face something worse– if the fence was breached, “the death toll will be far higher.” Because Palestinians “have the stated goal of erasing the border as a step toward erasing Israel.” So– no blame attached to Israel at all.

And Bari Weiss herself has labeled Linda Sarsour an anti-Semite because she doesn’t approve of Zionism. A Palestinian is supposed to approve of Zionism.



Phil Weiss and Donald Johnson

Phil Weiss and Donald Johnson are NY writers and regular contributors to this site

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49 Responses

  1. Keith on November 30, 2018, 7:17 pm

    PHIL/DONALD- “So once again Weiss equates Jewishness and Zionism.”

    Zionism simply cannot be understood without reference to the Holocaust and its impact upon the perception of anti-Semitism and Jewishness. Yet, it is a topic Mondoweiss officially discourages in the comments section. Perhaps you should reconsider.

    “…a significant part of the community wants to talk about Israeli policy in the context of Jewish history and Jewish identity, and do so in a highly critical manner….We don’t.”

    • Misterioso on December 1, 2018, 10:59 am


      “Zionism simply cannot be understood without reference to the Holocaust and its impact upon the perception of anti-Semitism and Jewishness. Yet, it is a topic Mondoweiss officially discourages in the comments section. Perhaps you should reconsider.”

      It seems that you are unaware of the fact that the Zionist grand plan for the dispossession and expulsion of Palestine’s indigenous Arab inhabitants and the creation of an expansionist “Jewish state” therein was formulated decades before the Jewish holocaust.

      To wit:

      Beginning in earnest during the late 19th century – i.e., DECADES BEFORE THE RISE OF HITLER, THE HOLOCAUST AND WWII – and formalized by Theodor Herzl, et al, during the first Zionist Congress in 1897, certain western Jewish leaders began devising a scheme to move foreign Ashkenazi Jews en masse to historic Palestine and create a “Jewish state” by forcibly dispossessing and expelling the indigenous Palestinian Arabs who, including their ancestors, had lived there for about 15,000 years -

      (Their efforts and those of Chaim Weizmann led to the illegal 1917 Balfour Declaration.)

      Herzl’s diaries not only confirm that his objective was the establishment of a “Jewish state” in Palestine, but that it would be an expansionist state. In the year of his death, 1904, he described its borders as being “…in the north the mountains facing Cappadocia [Turkey], in the south, the Suez Canal [Egypt] in the east, the Euphrates [Iraq].” (Theodor Herzl, The Complete Diaries, 11 p. 711)

      Even more revealing as to how Herzl and his fellow Zionists intended to deal with Palestinians is the “Charter for Zionist Colonization of Palestine and Syria” which he drafted sometime between the summer of 1901 and early 1902. Much to his disappointment, however, he was denied the opportunity to present it to the Ottoman Sultanate. Article Vl of the charter called for Istanbul to grant the Zionists, in the form of the Jewish-Ottoman Land Company (JOLC), “complete autonomy, guaranteed by the Ottoman Empire” while Article III gave them in effect, the right to deport the native population to other areas of the empire. Article 111 “[pertained] to the Palestinian and other Arab owners and inhabitants of the three categories of land to be purchased/owned by the JOLC – the large and small private landholdings, the Sultan’s state domain, and the land for which there is no title.”

      Israel Zangwill, the influential Anglo-Jewish essayist and devoted Zionist first believed that the Palestinians would simply “fold their tents and slip away.” It was Zangwill who first voiced the lie that Palestine was a “land without a people, waiting for a people without a land.” (Zangwill, Israel, “The Return to Palestine”, New Liberal Review 11, Dec. 1901 p 627, quoted by David Hirst, The Gun and the Olive Branch, p. 19)

      In 1905, Zangwill contradicted himself during a talk in Manchester when he observed that Palestine was “already twice as thickly populated as the United States…. [W]e must be prepared to either drive out by the sword the Arab tribes in possession as our forefathers did or to grapple with the problem of a large alien population….” (Zangwill, Speeches, p. 210, quoted by Nur Masalah , Expulsion of the Palestinians, 1992, p. 10)

      In the February 1919 issue of the League of Nations Journal, Zangwill proposed that the Palestinians “should be gradually transplanted” in Arab countries and at a public meeting in the same year he remarked that “many [Palestinians] are semi-nomad, they have given nothing to Palestine and are not entitled to the rules of democracy.” (Jewish Chronicle, Dec. 12 1919, quoted by Nur Masalha, Expulsion of the Palestinians…, p. 14)

      In 1920, Zangwill proposed in The Voice of Jerusalem, that there should be an “‘Arab exodus’…based on ‘race redistribution’ or a ‘trek like that of the Boers from Cape Colony,’ which he advocated as ‘literally the only way out of the difficulty of creating a Jewish State in Palestine.’” He continued: “We cannot allow the Arabs to block so valuable a piece of historic reconstruction….To fold their tents and silently steal away is their proverbial habit: let them exemplify it now.” (Zangwill, The Voice of Jerusalem, p. 103, quoted by Masalha, EOTP pp. 13- 14)

      Other Zionist leaders saw the future Jewish state in Palestine not only free of Arabs, but the first step towards the creation of a much larger country. In 1918, Ben-Gurion described the future borders of the Jewish state as: “to the north, the Litani River; to the northeast, the Wadi’Owja, twenty miles south of Damascus; the southern border will be mobile and pushed into the Sinai at least up to Wadi al-`Arish; and to the east, the Syrian Desert, including the furthest edge of Transjordan.” (Teveth, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, pp. 34-34; cited by Nur Masalah, Expulsion of the Palestinians, …, p. 87)

      In 1930, when despite ever increasing immigration, Jews privately owned only about four per cent of Palestine, Arthur Ruppin, a pivotal figure in political Zionism wrote that displacement of Arab farmers was inevitable because “land is the most necessary thing for our establishing roots in Palestine. Since there are hardly any more arable unsettled lands in Palestine, we are bound in each case of the purchase of land and its settlement to remove the peasants who cultivated the land so far, both owners of the land and tenants.” (Rashid Khalidi, in Blaming the Victims)

      In 1930, Britain’s Shaw Commission concluded: “The plain facts of the case are that there is no further land available which can be occupied by new immigrants without displacing the present population.” (Palestine Royal Commission Report, July 1937, Cmd. 5479, p. 176; cited by Alan George, JPS, #30, Winter, 1979, p. 91.)

      The views of the Shaw Commission were echoed by John Chancellor, Britain’s high commissioner for Palestine. In a memorandum to Colonial Secretary, Lord Passfield, dated 17 January 1930, he called for a complete suspension of Jewish immigration and land purchase to protect Arab agriculture, pointing out that “all cultivable land was occupied; that no cultivable land now in possession of the indigenous population could be sold to Jews without creating a class of landless Arab cultivators.”

      What happened in Palestine between late 1947 and early 1949 was described by eye-witness Nathan Chofshi, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, who arrived in Palestine in 1908 in the same group as David Ben-Gurion: “…we old Jewish settlers in Palestine who witnessed the flight know how and in what manner we, Jews, forced the Arabs to leave cities and villages…some of them were driven out by force of arms; others were made to leave by deceit, lying and false promises. It is enough to cite the cities of Jaffa, Lydda, Ramle, Beersheba, Acre from among numberless others.” (Jewish Newsletter, New York, February 9, 1959; quoted by Erskine Childers in “The Other Exodus, in From Haven to Conquest, ed. Professor Walid Khalidi, Harvard, p. 800)

      Chofshi was deeply ashamed of what his fellow Jews did to the Palestinians: “We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees. And still we dare to slander and malign them, to besmirch their name. Instead of being deeply ashamed of what we did and of trying to undo some of the evil we committed…we justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify them.” (Nathan Chofshi, Jewish Newsletter, February 9, 1959; ibid, p. 803)

      BTW, in 2004, when asked by Ha’aretz journalist, Ari Shavit, what new information his just completed revised version of The Birth of the Palestinian Problem 1947-1949 would provide, Israeli historian Benny Morris replied: “It is based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, most of them from the Israel Defense Forces Archives. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves.” (Ha’aretz, January 9, 2004)

      As determined by Walter Walter Eytan, then Director General of “Israel’s” Foreign Ministry, 800,000 Palestinians were dispossessed and expelled from their homeland between late 1947 and 1948. It was accomplished by Jewish militias and the IDF through armed might, several massacres, mass rape and intimidation. As a consequence of the war Israel launched on 5 June, 1967, a further 250,000 were driven out.

      So what has Zionism wrought? Undeniably, a thoroughly documented racist, fascistic, expansionist ethnic cleanser, a brutal/illegal occupier and a serial violator of hard won international law that is still utterly dependent on the U.S. and rapidly becoming an international pariah. In short, 70 years of trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. The writing is on the wall.

      • Keith on December 3, 2018, 12:12 am

        MISTERIOSO- “It seems that you are unaware of the fact that the Zionist grand plan for the dispossession and expulsion of Palestine’s indigenous Arab inhabitants and the creation of an expansionist “Jewish state” therein was formulated decades before the Jewish holocaust.”

        I am fully aware of the history of Zionism. Without the Holocaust, Zionism would have been stillborn. The Holocaust is an integral part of contemporary Zionism and of Judeo-Zionist memes. Without the Holocaust, I seriously doubt that the “Jewish state” of Israel would have come into being. Israel perhaps, but Jewish state no. The Holocaust casts its shadow over all things Jewish, particularly Zionist ideology. To repeat, nothing you have said contradicts my assertion that “Zionism simply cannot be understood without reference to the Holocaust and its impact upon the perception of anti-Semitism and Jewishness.”

    • US Citizen on December 1, 2018, 9:00 pm

      Ugh. ‘And Bari Weiss herself has labeled Linda Sarsour an anti-Semite because she doesn’t approve of Zionism. A Palestinian is supposed to approve of Zionism.’

      Um, I’m sorry, a Palestinian is a Semite. What they cannot be expected to do is to renege on their past, deny their identity, and give up on what they believe is their history. They cannot be expected to become zionazis.

      Weiss has a long record of seeking to muzzle critics of Israel, going back to her campaigns against professors — several of them Arab — as an undergraduate at Columbia University in the early 2000’s. She also had a role in hounding out a Columbia dean for hosting former Iranian president Ahmadinejad.

      Weiss is a bigot who works for NYT and people should know about her.
      She is anti-Palestinian and a Islamaphobe and a hypocrite. Videotapes recording illegal jewish settler squats throwing garbage on Hebron Palestinians does more to stereotype israel to the World than the claims of the likes of her. I can’t stand to watch her on MSM or Bill Maher – another sycophant and pimp for his jewish handlers and israel. NYT get rid of her.

      • marc b. on December 2, 2018, 10:43 am

        Ugh, is right. Weiss is described as a ‘journalist’ but there’s no evidence she’s ever practiced any journalism, just a failing upward series of editorial roles, so I’m not sure what credentials, other than the American journalistic kit of serious hand gestures and glasses frames she’s been outfitted with, qualifies her to work for the WSJ or NYT. Also, she’s a graduate of Columbia which has produced such other pathological hucksters as mattress girl.

      • Spring Renouncer on December 2, 2018, 9:26 pm

        @marc b. To compare Emma Sulkowicz – the young woman who bravely went public and protested against her sexual assault – to Bari Weiss, and to call Sulkowicz a “pathological huckster” is totally baseless. Your comment reveals nothing about the matter at hand, Bari Weiss’ propaganda, but instead makes you come off as bitter and misogynistic.

      • marc b. on December 3, 2018, 8:09 am

        Bitter about what, exactly? There is more than enough evidence that Sulkowicz’s allegations are not true. The school and the District Attorneys office both found insufficient evidence of a crime. (Lack of a reasonable suspicion)

    • Moral Jews on December 2, 2018, 1:51 am

      Zionism is NOT Judaism
      Judaism id NOT Zionism
      Any more than American Christians are the Klan.
      Zionism is genocidal, racist, Police State

      • Mooser on December 2, 2018, 12:15 pm

        Look, as Judaism shifts from a non-proselytizing religion to a de-proselytizing religion, there’s bound to be all kinds of fuss. But the important thing is that Judaism retain those who can meet its demands.

      • JLewisDickerson on December 2, 2018, 1:13 pm

        RE: “Bari Weiss’s piece in NYT saying anti-Zionism is a ‘dragon’ of anti-Semitism”

        Peter Beinart on anti-Semitism in America and illiberalism in Israel | Ezra Klein Show
        Ezra Klein Show
        Published on Nov 29, 2018

        Subscribe to the Ezra Klein Show:

        This is a conversation I’ve been putting off, if I’m being honest. I can’t hold it from the safe space of journalistic distance. It’s about the strange, vulnerable space that many Jews, myself included, find themselves in today.

        The first part of this conversation is about being Jewish at a time of rising anti-Semitism in the Western world. The October massacre at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue was the worst act of anti-Semitic violence ever committed on American soil. In 2017, Charlottesville, Virginia, protesters waved torches while chanting “Jews will not replace us.” It’s often said that anti-Semitism is a light sleeper. It feels like it’s stirring.

        The second, and separate, part of this conversation is about Israel. The peace movement in the Jewish state has collapsed, and the country has decided a repressive illiberalism is the best guarantor of safety. They’ve found plenty of allies on the American right for that project, but it’s one that shreds the humanistic and pluralistic ideals that many diaspora Jews, myself included, believe in.

        All of this is coming at a time that has reminded many of us of the core lessons of Judaism: the importance of remembering what it’s like to be a stranger in a strange land, of knowing that bigotry takes whatever forms it requires to justify itself, of maintaining humanity amid struggle.

        Peter Beinart is an associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York. He’s also a columnist at the Atlantic and the Forward, a CNN contributor, and author of The Crisis of Zionism. He’s a thoughtful and courageous writer on these issues, and I’m grateful he joined me for this conversation.

      • echinococcus on December 2, 2018, 1:57 pm

        “Moral Jews”,

        Zionism is genocidal, racist, Police State

        That’s right, and an impressive majority of people who call themselves “Jewish” without being religious and observant support that.
        Meaning that “Judaism id NOT Zionism” may be a wrong statement with respect to statistical significance.

      • Keith on December 2, 2018, 6:01 pm

        MORAL JEWS- “Zionism is NOT Judaism…Judaism id NOT Zionism”

        Methinks thou doth protest too much. The synergistic relationship between Zionism and modern Judaism is growing stronger with a merging of ideologies. Those who draw a hard line of demarcation between them are in deep denial concerning the current nature of Zionism and its roots in Classical Judaism. There is a reason that the “Jewish” state is supported by organized American Jews as the state of the Jews, differences concerning specific Israeli policies notwithstanding. Those who qualify for the right of return is determined by the Orthodox Israeli Rabbinate based upon religious guidelines, an indication of the merging of Zionism with Judaism. Some quotes for you.

        “I am a Zionist because I am a Jew. Zionism is integral to Judaism as I understand it.” (p135, “Stranger at Home: “The Holocaust,” Zionism, and American Judaism, Jacob Neusener)

        “…in fact the redemptive valence imputed to the State of Israel in American Judaism constitutes a judgment of Zionism. American Judaism must be deemed a wholly Zionist Judaism.” (p8, Neusner)

        “Orthodox Judaism – of which Zionism is a somewhat heretical branch….” (Yossi Gurvitz)

        “It became apparent to me, as drawing on knowledge acquired in my youth, I began to study the Talmudic laws governing the relations between Jews and non-Jews, that neither Zionism, including its seemingly secular part, nor Israeli politics since the inception of the State of Israel, nor particularly the policies of the Jewish supporters of Israel in the diaspora, could be understood unless the deeper influence of these laws, and the worldview which they both create and express is taken into account.” (p1, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years,” Israel Shahak)

      • MHughes976 on December 3, 2018, 12:49 pm

        We have to acknowledge that there is very strong support from most of those who proclaim themselves to be of the Jewish religion for Zionism. The fact that that puts me at so much moral variance with people of that faith is very disturbing. However, there is certainly a significant number of people who are of Jewish faith and clearly anti-Z. Have these people got to the point of being illogical? I can’t really think that.

  2. Boris on November 30, 2018, 7:36 pm

    “Bari Weiss’s piece in NYT … allows no comments”.

    My comments are often not published by Mondo.

    This very typical for the “progressive” journalism. When you can’t beat the argument, you just no publish it.

  3. johneill on November 30, 2018, 9:06 pm

    israel is the only democracy in the middle east, and the only democracy in the world to hear the word ‘equality’ and feel existentially threatened.

    • Kay24 on December 1, 2018, 6:45 am

      Good point. They also do not want to hear the words “occupation” and “illegal settlements”. So called journalists like Weiss seems to have memory problems, and never refer to the fact that perhaps Israel ends that outrage, it will cease to be the target of rockets and stones. The seem to like portraying ISRAEL as the victim, always.

      Here is Juan Cole on CNN’s dishonesty on Palestine:

  4. Citizen on December 1, 2018, 1:30 am

    Meanwhile, the US is all set to borrow at interest (from China I suspect) a $38 billion military aid package to gift to Israel. The cherry atop is that the US also pays interest to Israel on this gift to Israel. Rand Paul has been the lone dissenter in the Senate. Trump will breezily sign off, even as he’s shouting to cut $30 billion from the latest US defense budget.

  5. RoHa on December 1, 2018, 6:49 am

    “The same was said of the Jews in Europe when they sounded the alarm bells. Look where they are now.”

    The current Jews of Europe are now in their European homelands. Many of them hold high positions in government, in business and the legal profession, in medicine and media and academia and the arts. Many others have less exalted positions. Pretty much like non-Jewish Europeans. Is that what she wants us to look at?

  6. Boris on December 1, 2018, 8:23 am


    you are a hypocrite.

    • Shingo on December 1, 2018, 6:00 pm

      Two of your comments have thus far appaeared, proving that you Boris, are full of $hit.

    • RoHa on December 1, 2018, 8:30 pm

      “you are a hypocrite.”

      You say that as if it were a really bad thing. It is bad to fail to live up to one’s professed ideals, but is it not better to at least give lip service to the ideals than no service at all?

      “Video meliora, proboque; deteriora sequor” is a common condition. It is not an excuse for wrongdoing, but I am not convinced that it is wrong in itself.

      • RoHa on December 1, 2018, 8:33 pm

        For those who do not have the Latin, the line means “I poked honey into the video, and it just got worse.”

      • Eva Smagacz on December 3, 2018, 5:05 pm

        Roha, you made me laugh

        While I agree with the sentiment, I don’t think much about your skills as a translator. 185/200

  7. tamarque on December 1, 2018, 8:25 am

    Zionism as a political and colonialist concept was developed long before the holocaust. It was always a colonialist settler policy/goal. And it is was always recognized the land was settled and developed by the Palestinian people who had been living there for hundreds of years. Zionism is a political belief system that manifested in very undemocratic practices–genocidal at their core.

    And Israel is not a democracy at all. They have refused to create a signed constitution for all its people because it would require them to accept the legitimacy of the Palestinians living there. Just as they have refused to sign the nuclear anti-proliferation agreement in order to justify their developing nuclear weaponry, they refuse to become a legal democracy. The fact that a few democratic structures seem to exist, does not make them a democracy.

    • johneill on December 1, 2018, 10:06 am

      well-said. zionism is premised on the same racist notions that fostered european antisemitism, that people don’t belong where they aren’t the majority.

    • Marnie on December 2, 2018, 12:14 am

      You’ve hit that square on the head! israel will claim it’s ‘the only democracy in the middle east’ and when called out for its obvious undemocratic practice, will then claim it has ‘democratic values’ and is not a democracy at all (what is taught in schools here).

  8. Marnie on December 1, 2018, 8:43 am

    The NYTs behavior wrt closing comment section on b. weiss’s piece is the same as the white house’s new rules about 1 question for mz sarah huckasanders and no follow up. It is nothing but cowardice. It’s past the time for the NYT to be considered anything more than the mouthpiece for AIPAC, ZOG, sheldon adelson, etc.

    It’s a very dangerous game people like b. weiss, shmuel rosner, brett stephens and thomas friedman are playing. The continuous crying wolf was a cautionary tale to children about the dire consequences of lying. I’m waiting to see if she or any other equally stupid person will claim jews are the new black. They should be ashamed.

    • Donald on December 1, 2018, 5:01 pm

      The comments section was never open as best I can tell. They don’t have an open comment section for every opinion piece. They would probably say there is no significance to keeping this one closed.

      However, I agree that it is cowardice. Bari Weiss is accusing people who harshly criticize Israel and support Palestinian rights of being antisemitic and they don’t let people give opposing arguments.

  9. scott9854958 on December 1, 2018, 7:26 pm

    RIP to Bush 41, the last U.S. President to stand up to the Lobby, by holding up loan guarantees. And he named the lobbyists themselves while he was at it.

    (No, Obama’s symbolic gesture in Dec 2016 doesn’t count. Bush 41 did this in his first term and probably lost in ’92 as a result of it. Obama didn’t have the spine to do what George HW Bush did.)

    • Marnie on December 2, 2018, 12:39 am

      To your point @scott9854958 –

      “The bitter confrontation between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Iran nuclear deal in 2015 felt to many like an unprecedented clash between the White House and Jerusalem – but not to those who remember the fall of 1991.

      That was the scene of a historic public political showdown between the late President George H.W. Bush and Israel: With a possible peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians in the air, the 41st U.S. president refused to approve $10 billion in loan guarantees to help Israel cope with a wave of immigration from the former Soviet Union, and subsequently demanded that Israel freeze its settlement building before agreeing to the request.

      The angry confrontation, and months-long standoff that followed, would affect the course of both Bush and then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s political careers. It would also permanently change the dynamics of the three-way relationship between the United States, Israel and American supporters of the Jewish state.

      It also marked the first time that an American president had ever dared to tie military or economic aid to Israel with limiting settlement construction in the West Bank, Gaza or the Golan Heights.

      Thomas Dine, the then-executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, declared that September 12 – when Bush announced he would tell Congress that the request for the guarantees must be deferred for 120 days – would be “a day that lives in infamy for the American pro-Israeli community.”

      Dine lamented that “this president did what no other president has done: He held a special press conference on this issue and challenged not just congressional efforts to proceed with the guarantees legislation, but Israel’s overall aid levels.”

      The pro-Israel lobby was shocked by the determination of the Bush administration to postpone congressional consideration of the guarantees – which it had carefully crafted with the Israeli government and expected to sail through Congress and then the White House in early October.

      An AIPAC official assured me at the time that, with strong bipartisan support, the guarantees would pass the approval process “like a knife through butter.”

      But then, on Dine’s “infamous” September 12, Bush took to the White House podium, where he made his case against passage of the guarantees. He argued that they would disrupt the “historic breakthrough” peace process his administration was attempting to move forward.

      In the aftermath of the American success in the first Gulf War, the White House had sought to use its sudden political capital in the Arab world to organize the Madrid Conference for the fall of 1991. The event would, for the first time, have Israel negotiating directly and publicly with the Palestinians and neighboring Arab states.

      Bush told reporters that deferring the guarantees was vital “in the interest of peace,” because bringing it to Congress would “raise a contentious debate” that he feared would “interfere with our ability” to bring the parties to the peace table.

      “A 120-day delay is not too much for an American president to ask for with so much in the balance,” Bush said. “We must give peace a chance. We must give peace every chance.”
      In making his case, Bush pointedly reminded Israel that “just months ago, American men and women in uniform risked their lives to defend Israelis in the face of Iraqi Scud missiles,” and that the Gulf War had “achieved the defeat of Israel’s most dangerous adversary,” referring to Saddam Hussein’s regime.

      Moreover, he said, his administration had approved $4 billion in military aid for Israel, representing “nearly $1,000 for every man, woman and child,” and had already given Israel “millions in loan guarantees.”

      The U.S. president said he would view lobbying efforts by AIPAC in Congress against him as “an attempt by Congress to prevent the president from taking steps vital to the nation’s security. Too much is at stake for domestic politics to take precedent over peace.”

      Bush’s not-so-subtle subtext was that by demanding the $10 billion, the Israeli government (and AIPAC) was behaving ungratefully and interfering in the power dynamics of the American government, and the ability of the president to call the shots when it comes to foreign policy.

      Bush’s best-remembered remarks referred to a National Leadership Action Day lobbying effort taking place on Capitol Hill, organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and AIPAC.

      Bush told reporters: “I heard today there was something like 1,000 lobbyists on the Hill working on the other side of the question. We’ve got one lonely little guy down here doing it.” He drew a raucous round of laughter from the assembled journalists at this description of himself.

      Bush’s public appeal for support worked. Polls at the time found that 86 percent of Americans agreed with the president’s call for the loan-guarantees delay. And major U.S. media backed his stance, with both the New York Times and Washington Post running editorials favoring his position.

      For Jerusalem, the second part of the one-two punch came a week later, when then-Secretary of State James Baker flew to the Middle East and delivered even tougher news to Shamir and his government: The loan guarantees would not receive White House support without a settlement freeze.

      The reasoning was clear: Without such a freeze, there was no way to ensure that U.S. help would not, in some way, end up populating West Bank settlements with the new immigrants.

      On Baker’s journey home from Israel, a “senior administration official” – which most assumed to be Baker himself – briefed reporters that the Americans had been “damn forthcoming” to Israel, but would not give it “an unconstitutional $10 billion infusion that does not have any restriction.”

      AIPAC blinked first, backing down from its demand that the loan guarantees be pushed through Congress. That marked a turning point in the history of the lobby’s relationship with both the White House and Israel.

      Shamir, by all accounts, was furious that his supporters in Washington had backed down from the fight, after assuring him the loan guarantees were a done deal. Still, he had no choice but to accept it, just as he was unable to resist American pressure that dragged him reluctantly to attend the opening ceremony at the Madrid Peace Conference, on October 30, 1991. ‘

      How an ultimatum from George H.W. Bush transformed U.S.-Israel … › U.S. News

      This is not the complete article, which is pretty long. I didn’t pay much attention to israel or politics before about 2000 I’m ashamed to say and this article was quite a shock. I didn’t like bush because of reagan but have a new, though very late, respect for him. the u.s. has been spineless wrt israel since 1992. AIPAC most certainly has gone through congress ‘like a knife through butter’ ever since; they actually don’t even have to work hard at all as the u.s. congress has a pavlovian response to any and everything to do wrt israel and keeping them fat and happy.

      Speaking of atrocities, BBC aired a program that was broadcast yesterday regarding the situation of Thai laborers.

      Thai labourers in Israel tell of harrowing conditions – BBC News…/thai-labourers-in-israel-tell-of-harrowing-conditions

      Of course, the BBC’s reporting was received calmly and objectively by israel:

      Israel rejects ‘distorted’ BBC report on abysmal conditions of Thai farm …

  10. punterweger on December 1, 2018, 8:16 pm

    Phil & Donald; “No doubt Corbyn has stumbled into associating with some jerks – you can’t avoid it if you discuss the Palestinian issue.” I’d be most interested in who these “jerks” are. I’ve followed the so-called “anti-semitism crisis” in the UK, including the accusations against Corbyn, pretty closely and have not come against anything that could really stand close scrutiny.

    • Donald on December 2, 2018, 10:14 am

      Bari Weiss linked to this Tablet article —

      I don’t know much about any of the people attacked in that piece. But as depicted, some sound like antisemites. Maybe all of them are falsely accused. I agree that you can’t take at face value an accusation of antisemitism when it involves a pro Israel writer attacking someone who is pro-Palestine, but unless the writer is just distorting everything or lying (which is possible), some of what he cites seems pretty bad.

      I don’t think Corbyn is an antisemite. We wrote about some of the attacks on him last summer. I think most of his critics are anti- Palestinian bigots, some of them unconsciously assuming that any pro Palestinian activism which upsets pro Israeli Jews must be antisemitic.

      • annie on December 2, 2018, 1:06 pm

        donald, i don’t think Yair Rosenberg is the most objective source. as an example, at your link (Why Just 13 Percent of British Jews Say They Will Vote For Labour in the General Election) note the opening paragraph:

        Today, the London Jewish Chronicle released its polling on the Jewish vote in the upcoming contest, and the numbers are stark. 77 percent of British Jews say they will vote for Theresa May’s Conservatives, with just 13 percent voting for the opposition Labour party. For comparison, the 2016 exit poll by the Council on American-Islamic Relations showed that Donald Trump received 13 percent of the Muslim vote.

        why is he comparing that to CAIR’s muslim vote? he doesn’t tell you but here’s my hunch. most muslims in america are democrats in the same way most UK jews are conservative. check this out:

        At the last general election, two years ago, 18 per cent of the community surveyed pledged support to Labour, but this survey showed just 14 per cent of respondents supported the party while Ed Miliband was leader.

        so how can one insinuate UK jews are abandoning labour when, at the last election before jeremy corbyn this same group surveyed only 1% difference? i think the vast majority of british jews have voted tory since margaret thatcher “How British Jews Built Thatcherism”

        and when i say “this same group” i mean those surveyed in this poll. because JC article, “British Jews will vote overwhelmingly for the Conservatives” from 2015, claims

        Labour leader Ed Miliband was seen as the best supporter of the community by only 13 per cent.

        so while i don’t know all rosenberg’s references, he is the sort of writer who might add ‘Defended Marc Lamont Hill who called for the eradication of Israel and the Jewish people’. just saying.

        and keep in mind corbyn has been in british politics for decades, and many of his alliances were formed before some of his colleagues may have gone off the reservation.

      • Donald on December 2, 2018, 1:28 pm

        Annie—I agree Yair Rosenberg is not a great source. I looked at some of the names below.

  11. gamal on December 1, 2018, 11:35 pm

    “No doubt Corbyn has stumbled into associating with some jerks–you can’t avoid it if you discuss the Palestinian issue” ? anti-semitic jerks? who? Palestinian jerks ? ( i take it present company is not excluded) anti-Zionist jerks? but the old “no doubt’ as everyone knows is a substitute for substance.

    “But Bari Weiss’s side is full of intolerant jerks”

    Ah, the old jerk parity that sign of nuanced, balanced journalism,

    “A Palestinian is supposed to approve of Zionism” or at least not be a jerk about it, I mean CNN are finding anti-semitism literally everywhere, so there’s no doubt that there is no smoke ….i have many doubts about the lame Corbyn/Anti-semitism claim i suppose that is the very definition of a jerk, too much to ask you to name some these jerks, to be specific instead of lazily riffing on the latest propaganda and wallowing in comforting assumptions.

    • Donald on December 2, 2018, 12:13 pm

      Speaking of lazy wallowing in comfortable assumptions, how about you doing something besides posing as the perfect fountain of all wisdom. So, gamal, is it possible that some people, both white and nonwhite, might be antisemitic? Do you know of any examples or are they all fake? Did you read the Tablet link? You are over there, You know the situation better. So go through it, name by name and accusation by accusation and refute them all. Every single one.

      I don’t name examples because from my distant perspective I don’t think antisemitism in the Labour Party is the huge problem portrayed by Corbyn’s opponents, but there are such people as antisemites and they occasionally pop up here and are banned. This place used to have an unmoderated comment section years ago. They were around then. It seems likely that they exist in Britain and are used by the racists on the pro Israel side as an excuse to discredit Corbyn and the Palestinian rights movement. I don’t look at every single example because I am sure Corbyn is a good man and if he has occasionally associated with people who were antisemites I take him at his word that he didn’t realize it. I am assuming the situation in Britain is like that in America, where there are antisemites, but their existence is used to falsely portray the pro Palestinian rights movement as antisemitic.

      But maybe if you examine all the cases you can show that they are all fake or alternatively, maybe I am giving Corbyn too much credit and he really should have known better in some cases. You are in a better position to do this, so if it is all that important to you then why don’t you do it?

      • Donald on December 2, 2018, 1:23 pm

        I will do some of this myself. These are not all the names and I only did a bit of googling

        Paul Eisen— A Holocaust denier. Corbyn attended his Deir Yassin Remembered events and says he didn’t realize Eisen was a Holocaust denier. I believe him. The Daily Mail says he was still associating with DYR long after he should have known better. I don’t knw if this is true,

        Stephen Sizer—Started off writing some apparently good stuff criticizing Christian Zionism, but has speculated or put forward the idea Israel did 9/11 or so Wikipedia says. Corbyn apparently defended him, but I don’t know the details.

        Raed Saleh— One of those situations where a person is accused of endorsing terrible things, but he denies it. So I think this one can be struck off the list of accusations.

        Dyad Abu Jahjah— Terrible quotes attributed to him, but taken out of context. Strike it off the list.

        Jawas Batmah and Samar Alami—accused of a terrorist attack in London. Amnesty International said it was an unfair trial. Defending someone’s right to a fair trial is a good thing. Strike this off the list.

        So in a couple of cases Corbyn did associate with an antisemite (Eisen) and a person who admits to having very poor judgement (Sizer). So the statement about Corbyn occasionally associating with jerks seems to be correct. It is also true that Corbyn’s enemies are dishonest.

      • annie on December 2, 2018, 4:24 pm

        donald, aside from eisen’s history wrt the holocaust, DYI is an important resource. they’ve been around for a long time and one could argue that more than any other group their work and archives, including audio recordings way back when many of the survivors were alive, have kept deir yassen from going down the forgotten tubes of history. the organization has been targeted for years but i am greatful for their sustained efforts.

        re jackie walker, i wrote about her here and cited her in the headlines:

      • echinococcus on December 2, 2018, 1:47 pm


        With all respect, you are peddling nonsense.
        “Antisemites, antisemitism” eh? What the hell do you mean exactly?
        Is it enmity towards “Jews”? Well then, which characteristics of said “Jews” –inborn or not?

        If inborn, then it is simply racism, nothing else, and buzzwords like “antisemitism” are nonsense. Racism is what civilized people call group prejudice based on inborn characteristics. Nothing to do with the old American meaning based on skin color only.

        If directed at anything not inborn, like religion or opinions or cultural self-attribution, etc., well then there is absolutely no reason to reject it out of hand; it is something that must be examined on its merits, totally open to discussion.

        Enough with your “antisemitism” bugaboo.

      • Bumblebye on December 2, 2018, 4:04 pm

        Jackie Walker was mentioned in the article – with no mention that she’s black and identifies as Jewish.
        An incident around Ruth Smeeth MP was also recounted – no mention that Marc Wadsworth, who made an accusation towards her which had *nothing* to do with her faith (which he was unaware of), or any ‘tropes’, was suspended.
        Regarding Emma Barnett, she is thoroughly right-wing yet has a radio show on bbcR5. She reserves her ‘compassion’ for the wealthy or prominent who fall from grace – because they have so much further to fall than those at the sharp end of society.
        Further on her:

        Imo everything in the article seems grossly distorted. Even the voting intentions, as the post GE British Electoral Study showed the Jewish vote to be 66% conservative and 24% labour (iirc).

        (I think the right-wing very pro-zionist “Philip Cross” thing has been discussed here on MW, if not there’s much more on Craig’s site and at the Media Lens site)

      • Donald on December 3, 2018, 1:42 pm

        Echino, your comment is dumb. Bigots don’t have to base their bigotry on any particular set of characteristics. Hypothetically, there could be hatred of people who are soccer fans, where all soccer fans are said to be potential hooligans who need to be jailed or killed or discriminated against. Bigots don’t have to live by your rules.

        Also, it has been about a month since the Pittsburgh massacre and already you are saying antisemitism doesn’t exist.

      • MHughes976 on December 3, 2018, 3:49 pm

        I see nothing wrong with calling, as is customary enough, prejudice against people on grounds of Jewish religion or ancestry by the name ‘anti-Semitism’. Its existence in the Western world is undeniable but I really don’t believe that it has the characteristics – enough votes to worry the authorities, some discernible influence on policy, leaders with a presence in the media – of a serious political force, at least as things now stand.
        It’s always possible that an established political force may be infiltrated or that violent propaganda by deed Pittsburgh style may rouse people to express sentiments they hadn’t known they had. But I don’t believe that that is happening now. I don’t believe it’s happening to the Labour Party.

      • echinococcus on December 4, 2018, 10:22 am


        That ain’t too bright either: “bigotry”* is not well-defined. It may be prejudice directed at an accident of birth (= racism, as shorthand) or it may be directed against acquired characteristics, in which case it should be discussed. Some will find it justified, some not. I personally tend to agree with discriminating against soccer fans (though not with jailing or killing them.)

        The point with saying that there is no “Antisemitism” but either plain racism, or then hostility to some acquired characteristics, is to denounce the invention and use of this term as a huge propaganda maneuver.

        If you are opposed (including massacres, which are only a particular type of opposition) to “Jews” because your fevered mind imagines them as being so from birth, why do you say “antisemitism” here but plain “racism” in every other case (not “anti-blackism”, “anti-serbocroatism”, “anti-arabism”, and so ad infinitum)? If the massacre or opposition was committed because you believe that’s a group of people who swore not to let you sleep at night, or that they are exclusively soccer fans, or believe in the wrong gods, well then why use nonsense words like “antisemitism” instead of defining what this is about?

        Fuzzy thinking doesn’t help us.

        *a term that denoted exclusively fanatical religiosity, now routinely misused by the current PC crowd

      • gamal on December 5, 2018, 3:40 pm

        Really Eisen,

        how about Rabbi David Goldberg, the “Arab lover” associated with DYR or how about Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi or Jackie walker or Thomas Suarez, I post the whole to make it easier to read for those who can barely be bothered.

        “Sort and Destroy

        I agreed to talk at length with Tanya Gold for her article because she posed as someone genuinely trying to understand non-Zionist Jewish viewpoints [“Among Britain’s Anti-Semites,” Letter from the United Kingdom, October]. Her article reflects nothing of what I told her. It casts no light on the long history of Jewish dissent from the Zionist idea of a state that privileges Jews and separates us from the rest of humanity. She ignored the views of the authoritative thinkers she interviewed with perspectives that oppose her main thesis, including Antony Lerman, the former head of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, and David Rosenberg, a prominent Jewish socialist writer and commentator. She was also disdainful and uncomprehending toward black Jewish anti­racist activist Jackie Walker, who has been a prime victim of the hysteria in the United Kingdom about alleged anti-­Semitism on the left.

        In the eight months it took Gold to write her article, she appears not to have investigated a single one of the allegations made against the left by its enemies. She has simply repeated old accusations, using her skills as a writer to bolster the ongoing, dangerous bastardization of the term anti-Semitism. Its real meaning—hostility to Jews because we are Jews—is being lost, the fight against racism in all its forms is being weakened, and the voices of Palestinians are being deliberately silenced.

        Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi
        Media Officer, Jewish Voice for Labour

        I have no idea of the brief given to Gold, but Harper’s Magazine’s investment in months of investigative journalism on the so-called crisis of anti-Semitism in the British Labour Party was a unique opportunity that failed to do anything except regurgitate the pap served up by British newspapers.

        What Gold neglects to tell her readers is that an extraordinary number of key positions in Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership group are held by Jews, including some with well-known Zionist sympathies. It seems that Gold, like the writer Howard Jacobson, whose offensive pen she quotes in her article, was not going to allow facts to counter her narrative.

        I met with Gold often during her reporting. We spoke intensely, sometimes passionately. Despite our political differences (Tanya is a Zionist), I thought we had found a way to communicate. I watched her struggle, sometimes to the point of tears, with issues I raised. She appeared to listen, admitting to limited knowledge of the history and ongoing oppression of black people in the West. Ever the optimist, I hoped dialogue might help achieve something desperately needed here and in the United States—a bridge between opposing sides. Instead, Tanya’s article stoked hate and, perhaps, more violence.

        That Tanya barely mentions the tradition of anti-Zionist Jews is an obvious error. Her failure to acknowledge that many of the members suspended and excluded from Labour for anti-Semitism are in fact Jewish may be where Tanya’s reporting is shoddiest. But to omit the controversy surrounding the politically constructed concept of “new anti-­Semitism,” which conflates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, and has been used to stoke allegations of “leftist anti-­Semitism,” can only be seen as an attempt to foreclose any challenge to what is, in fact, a highly controversial notion: that criticism of Israel is inherently anti-Semitic and that the rise of anti-­Semitism in the United Kingdom comes from the left. This is not only nonsense but, as protofascists rise on both sides of the Atlantic, also dangerously stupid.

        Gold’s assertion about how few Jews are anti-Zionist is also questionable. In the United Kingdom, the Orthodox Neturei Karta, who as a rule do not support the state of Israel, make up a sizable portion of the Jewish population. And while the letter from twenty-nine Orthodox rabbis who support Corbyn has not been widely circulated in the media, I’m sure Gold must at least be aware of the findings of “The Attitudes of British Jews Towards Israel,” a survey funded by Yachad, a liberal Zionist group, who in 2015 found a declining number—just 59 percent—of Jews identifying as Zionists. This is not confined to the United Kingdom. Recent research in the United States shows a rising trend, particularly among the youth, for Jews to disassociate themselves from Israel. Not surprising, perhaps, given the murderous actions undertaken by the Netanyahu government, its embedding of racism in Israeli legislation, its ongoing illegal demolitions of Palestinian and Bedouin homes, and its atrocities against protesters. Apart from the medics and journalists shot amid recent protests on the Great March of Return in Gaza, more than ten thousand have been injured and killed, including several twelve-year-old children.

        However, this can never be reduced to a simple numbers game. How many whites thought slavery immoral? How many Germans opposed the Nazis? In many ways it’s immaterial. There are ethics, there is power—and the lack of it. As Booker T. Washington said, “A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, evil doesn’t become good, just because it’s accepted by a majority.” Sometimes numbers don’t count.

        There’s more I could say about Gold’s angry and politically illiterate piece of journalism, but I will end on a personal note. Given Tanya’s background, her ignorance of people of African descent, you might ask, How could she ever ­really get the perspective of a black, Jewish, antiracist activist without the leap of genius this article so obviously lacks?

        Gold, perhaps unsurprisingly, misunderstood my suggestion that concern about anti-Semitism in our most right-wing press, which coincidedwith the election of Corbyn as leader, would obfuscate other forms of racisms. In her article, Gold renders this point as a competition, as if justice has to be rationed. This reminds me of a child who fears losing the love of a mother when a younger sibling arrives. Justice, like love, expands to fit the space it’s given. I must also have been mistaken when I thought that Gold was listening, either to me or to the words of my one-woman show, The Lynching, which she attended, since she seems to have misinterpreted that message as well. I am an internationalist, and I reject any boundary that separates one people from another.

        Of course, how could Gold get me when instead of a leap of genius, what we got was a leap of imagination, which suggested, without a shred of evidence, that I blame Jews for what happened to my mother? Her desperate attempt to make sense of my political stance by suggesting this is abusive. I can only think it serves some internal need to believe that any contradiction to her views on Israel must stem from animosity toward Jews. I’m afraid it doesn’t. Much more, if not most—who knows the quantity?—opposition to the state of Israel comes from a commitment to human rights.

        A week after Gold’s article was published, at a meeting of Jewish Voice for Labour at this year’s Labour Party conference, the screening of a new documentary film that focuses on a year of my political life, Witchhunt, was canceled by the police after the venue received a bomb threat to “kill many people” and explicitly mentioned Jews. There was hardly a mention in the mainstream media, no comment from Gold. Perhaps Jewish Voice for Labour, as Jews who do not necessarily see Zionism as part of their identity, are considered the wrong sort of Jews to be included in Gold’s, or the media’s, concerns about anti-Semitism.

        Jackie Walker

        Gold performs a revealing sleight of hand when she replaces the historical issue of Zionist dealings with the Nazis with “calling Jews Nazis” in the next. This approach is revealing: Gold sees Jews as implicitly synonymous with Zionism and Israel. This claim of an organic oneness between a political ideology or a nationstate and an ethnicity is unique, exploiting Jewish identity to shield that nation-state from accountability. But to assert that Israel, Zionism, and Jews are inextricably entwined, is equally to assert that the Israeli state informs the values and morality of Jews, simply because they are Jews. That, to me, is anti-Semitism. Gold cannot have it both ways.

        Thomas Suárez

    • Jon66 on December 4, 2018, 3:43 pm

      Hatred of women (what you would call “an accident of birth” ) would not be called ‘racism’ by too many folks. I think misogyny is a more accurate term.
      Hatred of homosexuals is usually called ‘homophobia’, not ‘racism’
      Hatred of Muslims is usually called ‘islamophobia’, not ‘racism’
      Hatred of Jews is usually called ‘anti-semitism’

      Let’s take a look at a hypothetical hater of Mr. Sammy Davis jr.
      If someone hates him because he is black (one of your “accidents of birth”)- that is racism
      If someone hates him because he is Jewish(not one of your “accidents of birth”)- that’s anti-semitism
      If someone hates him because he is a member of The Rat Pack- well that’s jealousy.

  12. Donald on December 2, 2018, 1:37 pm

    I looked up Jackie Walker. The attack on her appears to have been completely unfair. So strike another off the list of alleged evil Corbyn associates.

    Going through every single accusation is tedious. So far, my impression is what I was last summer. Most of the claims are bogus, but Corbyn might have associated with a few jerks over the years, probably without realizing it.

    The Daily Mail claims he was still hobnobbing with DYR after he should have known better. Someone else can track that story down further if they want to,

  13. punterweger on December 2, 2018, 5:42 pm

    Annie did a great job debunking the whole opening argument of the Tablet article. As far as the bullet points go, most of them are taken from the “Daily Mail” a tabloid that is about as reputable as the New York Post and that is well know as a ferocious opponent of Corbyn and the Labour party. To a lesser degree that is also the case of the other papers from which Yair Rosenberg cites.

    In the case of Jackie Walker, Rosenberg cites his own hit-piece in Tablet. Walker, along with Ken Livingston, Tony Greenstein, and Moshe Machover are victims of the defamatory campaigns by the British counterpart of AIPAC and the rest of the pro-Israel lobby. Walker herself is black and at least partly Jewish, here are the words for which she was condemned:

    “I’m sure you know, millions more Africans were killed in the African Holocaust and their oppression continues today on a global scale in a way it doesn’t for Jews…and many Jews (my ancestors too) were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade which is of course why there were so many early synagogues in the Caribbean. So who are victims and what does it mean? We are victims and perpetrators to some extent through choice. And having been a victim does not give you a right to be a perpetrator.”

    According to Wikipedia, “[a] number of prominent left-wing activists have defended Walker, including film director Ken Loach. Several of Walker’s defenders are themselves Jewish, such Haim Bresheeth, Moshe Machover, and linguist and activist Noam Chomsky. Chomsky said: ‘I wholeheartedly support the right of anyone to criticise Israel without being branded antisemitic. That goes in particular for Jackie Walker.'”

    Ken Livingston’s offending words were: “Let’s remember when Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.” Certainly not the best way this point could be formulated, but it refers to the agreements Zionists had struck with Hitler Germany to promote the emigration of Jews to Palestine, which has been repeatedly discussed on Mondoweiss.

    In my view, Weiss and Rosenberg are both Zionist partisans who are more than willing to embrace any point, no matter how flimsy, to defame their opponents. But what is really missing here is the political context. The real story is not an anti-Semitism crisis, but an intra-Labour political struggle, in which a gaggle of Blairite holdouts use anti-Semitism smears to discredit Corbyn. His real crime is that, like Bernie Sanders in the USA, he is at the head of a populist insurgency that threatens to reverse the party’s surrender to neoliberalism. How convenient that he has committed the cardinal sin of supporting justice for Palestinians? Obviously, the British counterpart of the US Israel Lobby, which takes it’s lead from the Israeli embassy (see the UK version of Al Jazeera’s documentary) is dedicated to keeping Corbyn out of power.

    • annie on December 4, 2018, 8:18 pm

      But what is really missing here is the political context. The real story is not an anti-Semitism crisis, but an intra-Labour political struggle, in which a gaggle of Blairite holdouts use anti-Semitism smears to discredit Corbyn. His real crime is that, like Bernie Sanders in the USA, he is at the head of a populist insurgency that threatens to reverse the party’s surrender to neoliberalism

      i agree completely. so much of these smears are based on things that happened years ago that no even brought up at the time. and they are used to slander individuals and knock them out, no different than lamont hill. it’s ugly.

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